Notarial Services

Tanner De Witt provides a range of notarial work and services. The main work of a Notary Public is to authenticate and certify signatures, authority and capacity relating to documents for use in business transactions outside Hong Kong.

Services include:

  • authenticating documents, including:
    • personal documents for marriage, adoption, succession or immigration
    • corporate, commercial or business documents
    • documents for the purpose of purchasing or selling land overseas
  • preparing and authenticating Powers of Attorney
  • verifying original documents (usually identification documents), and certifying true and complete copies of them
  • witnessing signatures
  • administering oaths
  • taking affirmations and declarations
  • noting and protesting Bills of Exchange
  • legalising documents, including arranging an apostille from the High Court

What is a notary public?

A Notary Public is a public officer appointed by the High Court of Hong Kong who is a member of the Hong Kong Society of Notaries.

What does a notary public do?

The main work of a Notary Public is to authenticate and certify signatures, authority and capacity relating to documents for use in business or personal transactions or legal proceedings outside Hong Kong.

What are the main notarial services?

The main notarial services are:

  • authenticating documents, including:
    • personal documents for marriage, adoption, succession or immigration
    • corporate, commercial or business documents
    • documents for the purpose of purchasing or selling land overseas
  • preparing and authenticating Powers of Attorney
  • verifying original documents (usually identification documents), and certifying true and complete copies of them
  • witnessing signatures
  • administering oaths
  • taking affirmations and declarations
  • noting and protesting Bills of Exchange
  • legalising documents, including arranging an apostille from the High Court

Is a notary public different from a Commissioner for Oaths or a Justice of the Peace?

Yes. You should clarify what type of certification is needed from the person who will rely on the document you are preparing.

Is the role of a notary public different to a practicing solicitor?

The role of a notary public is different to the role of a practicing solicitor. So, if the person relying on the document needs it to be notarised, a certification by a practicing solicitor who is not a notary public will not satisfy the requirement.

Aren’t most notaries solicitors?

A notary must have been a practicing solicitor in Hong Kong for at least seven years before his appointment, and many notaries continue to be practicing solicitors after their admission as a notary public. But not all practicing solicitors are notaries. So, if a document must be notarised or another notarial service is needed, you must make sure that a notary public performs the work. Your solicitor may not be a notary public.

How much do notarial services cost?

Charges vary according to the service needed. You should ask for a fee estimate for the notarial work you need.

How long does it take for notarial work to be completed?

It depends on the work that is needed. You should ask your notary public for an estimate of the time to complete the work. Any time estimate will be influenced by how promptly you can provide the documents and information the notary public needs.

Do I need to appear before the notary public?

Yes, if the work involves authentication of identity, witnessing, administering oaths, or taking affirmations and declarations.

Can a notary public advise on related legal issues?

A notary public can advise on related legal issues if he is also a practicing solicitor.

How is a notary public regulated?

Notaries are regulated by the Hong Kong Society of Notaries. The rules that apply to notaries include obligations to:

  • take out professional indemnity insurance
  • maintain independence and integrity in the performance of his duties
  • act in the best interests of his client
  • maintain good reputation both for himself and the notarial profession
  • deliver a proper standard of care
  • respect the client’s discretion to freely select a notary of his choice

Who should I contact at Tanner De Witt for notarial services?

Contact Pádraig Walsh.

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